A pro-poor growth strategy to end hunger

Ben Senauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Over 800 million people in the world are chronically undernourished and food insecure and some 1.2 billion live on the equivalent of less than one U.S. dollar per day (Food and Agricultural Organization, World Bank 2001). Those persistently hungry do not get enough to eat on a daily basis to lead active, healthy lives. They are hungry predominantly because they are poor and cannot afford enough food to eat adequately. Hunger affects not just their nutritional status but also the overall quality of their lives. Their lives are shorter and filled with more suffering. Malnutrition is a factor in the deaths of over half of the 12 million children under the age of five who die each year (United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)). Although clearly a great challenge, substantially reducing, and even ending hunger, is an achievable goal. Ending hunger would not mean that no person would ever go hungry again; rather, it would mean the elimination of chronic mass hunger. There is an emerging consensus concerning the major elements of such an anti-poverty strategy. They include a focus on investing in people in terms of their major asset, the human capital they possess, by enhancing the education, skills, health, and nutrition of the poor. Particular attention would be given to improving the education and health of children, and ensuring equity in access for girls, as well as enhancing the overall status of women. Agricultural development plays a crucial role in a pro-poor growth strategy. Carefully designed and implemented intervention programs can accelerate the reduction of chronic poverty and hunger and also serve as safety nets for transitory hardship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)826-831
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Agricultural Economics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002

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